CAROLYN GRANTThe cast of Kimberley Summer Theatre’s 2013 season are in town, settled into the house they will share and deep into rehearsals of the adult comedy “Self Help,” written by Norm Foster.
Foster is a well known Canadian playwright, although “Self Help” is more of a farce than those familiar with his work may be used to.
However, the cast say the play is hilarious and they are having a lot of fun in rehearsals.
“It’s a lot of fun, a classic farce,” said Brent Gill, a Summer Theatre veteran. “It has fast dialogue, doors opening and closing, sex and dead bodies.”
Gill says that in the past five years or so, Kimberley Summer Theatre has made great strides in terms of offering professional theatre.
Most of the rest of the cast, with the exception of Lisa Aasebo, are new to the company and looking forward to a summer in Kimberley.
“It’s a unique experience,” said Fiona McIntyre. “I go to school in New Jersey and this is very different. You are in a professional environment but you can go biking and hiking in your off time.”
When they arrive in town, cast members are expected to have done their homework in terms of the characters they will be playing.
“You are supposed to do as much prep work as possible,” said Stuart Fink. “You don’t necessarily have to have all your lines learned. The director sets a day for when there will be no more book in your hand.”
“The first thing we do is a read through and blocking,” McIntyre said.”
Gill says that went well and the cast has been up and running since about the third day of rehearsals.
“I think that speaks to the quality of people brought in this year.”
“It changes every rehearsal,” McIntyre said. “There is a lot of discovery that happens through the rehearsal process.”
The play is being directed by Cranbrook’s Tanya Laing Gahr, and the cast is enjoying working with her.
“She is awesome,” said Tricia Woodley. “She is fun, funny, smart.”
“She’s extremely enthusiastic and hands on,” Fink said.
“She talks a lot of going with your instincts. She’s not, ‘reach for the door now’. She wants us to feel natural and comfortable,” McIntyre said. “And its such a funny play. We still find ourselves laughing at jokes we’ve heard 12 times or more.
“We are really excited to get it in front of an audience.”
Once “Self Help” opens on July 9, the cast will be performing in the evening and spending the days rehearing KST’s second summer production, the Wizard of Oz, which opens at McKim Theatre on August 3.